Coach Carter delighted with prestigious national award

Bronwin Carter, right, with two of her athletes, Serena Vincent, left, and Gaia Osborne, at the awards night
Bronwin Carter, right, with two of her athletes, Serena Vincent, left, and Gaia Osborne, at the awards night
Heather Cubbage. Picture: Paul Smith

‘Incredible’ season is just the start for Heather

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FOR Bronwin Carter this has been a spectacular year even by her own high standards.

The City of Portsmouth coach is developing a squad full of international talent and rising stars in athletics.

Now her hard work and dedication has been recognised by England Athletics with the national coach of the year award for 2017.

Her prize was presented by former Great Britain international runner Donna Fraser at the England Athletics Hall of Fame and Volunteer Awards evening.

Carter coaches talented City athletes Serena Vincent and Gaia Osborne who both competed for England in the shot put at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas this year.

They were at the ceremony as well with the England team from the Commonwealths and got to see their coach pick up her prize.

Carter has been coaching since 1980 having also competed for England and winning this award was one of the best moments in her career so far.

She said: ‘It was quite brilliant and it really was a proud moment.

‘The proudest before this was getting Serena and Gaia to the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.

‘To have two athletes there for shot put is unheard of.

‘This has certainly been one of my best years in athletics.

‘I knew I had been nominated but I was on a table right at the back so I thought I hadn’t won anything.

‘Donna Fraser presented the award to me. I had to go on stage with her and she is so tall. She was wearing six inch heels as well.

‘I said to her “if I had your height I’d have thrown further”!’

Carter coaches many multi-eventers, throwing specialists and disabled athletes, who are ranked in the top-10 nationally.

Phil Gowers, shot put UK number two in the F38 category, summed up the esteem which Carter is held in by her athletes.

He said: ‘I would not be where I am today without this wonderful lady.

‘Although a diminutive frame, her stature among her athletes is enormous.’

The group are now in winter training after a spectacular 2017.

Vincent, 15, is second in the under-17 national rankings as a bottom year, and has won 11 titles this year as well as breaking many records.

Osborne, 17, is ranked fourth in the under-20 age group, also as a bottom year.

She won the national title and is Hampshire champion, southern champion and inter-county champion.

Her sixth-place achievement in the Commonwealth Youth Games in tough conditions signals greater things to ahead for the training group.

Next year many of the athletes in the squad will be looking to go on and achieve more international success with the help of coach Carter.